Thu | Sep 24, 2020

King's House addresses concerns raised by Shaggy

Published:Wednesday | November 13, 2019 | 12:00 AM
The entrance to King's House in St Andrew - File photo

King's House has moved to clear the air around what it says is a misunderstanding in the public domain about its support for the Shaggy and Friends Concert.

King's House has been the subject of criticisms after entertainer Orville ‘Shaggy’ Burrell disclosed at a media briefing on Monday that apart from a busy schedule, he had to put off the next staging of the bi-annual concert, which was expected in January 2020, because of issues securing a venue as well as parking.

The concert is usually held at Jamaica House, which is next to King’s House.

Parking for the concert has been facilitated at King’s House.

According to Shaggy, the foundation encountered challenges in securing parking at King’s House, making it difficult to go ahead with the concert.

What Shaggy Said

“One of the problems we were having is getting the East Lawn of King’s House. Without the East Lawn it's chaos ... but we had a little bit of an issue with the now sitting Governor-General who didn’t want us to use the East Lawn. We went back and forth for years upon years and I had everybody, straight up to the former prime minister, everybody that I would think of to talk to him.

“Last year, with a lot of back and forth, him finally kinna cave and gave us the parking lot so we figured that we good now, we can stage another one again. He sent me a letter pretty much saying ‘don't ask mi bout dah parking lot deh again period’. The letter is here and i’m willing to give it to you,” Shaggy said.

King’s House replies

In a statement, a spokesperson stated that for over a decade, King's House has accommodated requests from the Shaggy Make a Difference Foundation for use of the West Lawn for parking.

It was further stated that on December 17, 2017, King's House received a request for the use of the East Lawn for parking for the January 6, 2018 concert.

A further request was also made to cut an existing fence to allow for passage from the East Lawn to the Jamaica House grounds.

The spokesperson said the action would have affected the security of both properties, and the request was denied.

“By letter dated December 21, 2017, King's House responded to the foundation indicating that the portion of the property requested was used for parking only for national occasions such as the swearing-in of Prime Ministers and the National Honours and Awards Ceremony. Nevertheless, given the circumstances regarding traffic congestion, flow, and control, a concession was made.”

The spokesperson said the organisers were advised that in the future, the East Lawn would not be available, and they would need to revert to the previous arrangements for parking, that is, the West Lawn.

“King's House has always supported this event... however it should be noted that the State Office embodies the values and aspirations of a nation, not just a single group, and some requests cannot be accommodated.”

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